how to blanch green beans
Blanching is a wonderful thing. Not only does it make sure your green beans remain vibrant green and seductively crunchy, but it also gives you the option, once thoroughly drained, of refrigerating them for up to three days and speeding up a future dish.
Wash them and remove their ends.
To blanch string beans, we bring a large pot of water to a boil. We then add 2 pounds of green beans to the boiling water, along with a tablespoon of sugar and salt.
Why the sugar? Well, years ago I purchased a handy little book titled The Food Lover’s Tiptionary, by Sharon Tyler Herbst, that has all sorts of interesting tid-bits about food. It is organized alphabetically and has served me well as a faithful and handy reference. In it, she shares how adding a little sugar helps to retain the sweetness of the green bean and who was I to argue? I hardly ever see sugar being called for in most green bean-blanching related recipes I peruse, but I just keep adding it along with the salt.
Once the water returns to boil, cook the beans until they are bright green and crisp-tender, or about 3 to 4 minutes.
Mix them around to make sure that all the beans are being cooled. When they no longer feel warm to touch, drain them again in the colander. They look so pretty.
Place them in a clean kitchen towel and gently massage them to dry them thoroughly. They are now ready to use or to be refrigerated for up to 3 days.